“The people are being heard loud and clear, and it is not a matter of IF we are going to reach our goal necessary that will trigger a recall election of Newsom, it is just when we cross the finish line,” Orrin Heatlie, the lead proponent of the effort to remove the Democrat, said in a statement.
About nine weeks remain for organizers to gather 500,000 additional signatures, which would qualify the petition for a vote by Californians. March 17 is the deadline.
Heatlie called the recall campaign a “literal steamroller and Gavin Newsom’s failed policies are being run over and flatten[ed] by the People of California who will no longer be held hostage to his dictatorial failed policies.”
Newsom’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment about the petition.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said last month that the recall campaign has “huge momentum” and warned Newsom, a first-term governor who previously had been the state’s lieutenant governor and San Francisco’s mayor, to take it seriously.
“I think the important thing is that somebody has to have a wake-up call for the governor, or we’re going to go exactly down the road I saw in 2003, where Gray Davis didn’t understand and the people demanded a change, and they got a pretty radical change with Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Issa said.
Davis, a Democrat, was the first California governor to be recalled. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, received the most votes to replace Davis.
Those behind the recall campaign say California under Newsom is doing badly, citing the high number of homeless people, the high cost of living, and the harsh restrictions on businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anne Hyde, who is helping to lead the effort, told The Epoch Times that Newsom dining out at an expensive restaurant while repeatedly recommending that people stay home during the pandemic created a backlash.
“Clearly, you can pinpoint it to his appearance at the French Laundry … and now you’re starting to see it translated into an absolute spike in signatures,” she said.
“To me, it is a nonpartisan issue,” said Alan Johnson, a volunteer who was helping open mail responses. “I’ve never found myself to be partisan, but I try to judge things based on principle, and with good policy, you get good results. With bad policy, you get bad results. And there’s a whole lot of bad policies coming out of Sacramento. That should not be partisan.”
Drew Van Voorhis contributed to this report.